TEENIE WEENIE NEIGHBORS WITH COLOR AND BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2011 with funding from LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation http://www.archive.org/details/teenieweenieneigOOdona Teenie Weenie Neighbors , ? Found Skippy sitting patiently in his nest of moss and leaves — Teenie Weenie NEIGHBORS h WL/J. , »"* "'N V'>- Written and illustrated by WILLIAM DONAHEY New York WHITTLESEY HOUSE London McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. TEENIE WEENIE NEIGHBORS Copyright, 1945, by William Donahey All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher. Second Printing PUBLISHED BY WHITTLESEY HOUSE A division of the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. Printed in the United States of America Contents i. Uppity Orioles g 2. Tompkins 15 3. Ginky 20 4. Tilly Titter 26 5- Skippy 32 6. The Rhyming Rabbit 37 7. A Bad Neighbor 44 8. A Lost Chicken 51 9- J ack 57 i o. A New Neighbor . 62 List of Illustrations Found Skippy sitting patiently in his nest of moss and leaves FRONTISPIECE PAGE Stuck out his pink tongue . . . 1 8 The Chinaman looked up at the chimney 23 Gogo managed to dodge in and grab the pan 29 The big rabbit limped in sight 39 Just as the weasel slid over the top of the rock .... 49 *" Well, look who's here!" he exclaimed ...... 54 The dog dropped the bone on the ground 59 The Teenie Weenies fed the bird . . 63 6 Neighbors, Wise and Otherwise 1 H E Teenie Weenies have a great many pleasant neighbors among the birds, chipmunks, mice, squirrels, and rabbits that live near Teenie Weenie Town. One reason for this is that the town stands in a great tangle of weeds, briers, and bushes where big people never go. Small animals and birds live in this brushy spot for exactly the same reason as the Teenie Weenies — to keep out of the way of big folks. It isn't because they dislike big people that the Teenie Weenies and their neighbors choose this tangled spot, but because they are all so very small. Most big people would never think of harming little creatures but they are often careless, and a very simple thing sometimes becomes a great accident to such small folks. Once a careless boy threw a snowball into the thicket where the Teenie Weenie Town stands. The ball landed near the Chinaman's laundry and rolled into the old teapot, completely wrecking the tiny steps that lead up to the doorway. If the Chinaman had been standing on those steps, it would have been the last of that quaint little chap. A banana peel is tossed aside very easily by big people, but if it should fall on a Teenie Weenie that would be just as dangerous to him as it would be for a big person to have half the roof of a large house hit him. It takes three or four of the strongest Teenie Weenies to drag a banana peel over the ground. Big people are very curious about small animals and birds and often try to catch them. That is why the birds and animals almost always live in places where big people seldom go. Many big people would love to capture a Teenie Weenie and keep it in a cage, but a Teenie Weenie would not like that any more than a big person would like to be caught by a giant. That is one of the reasons why Teenie Weenies keep out of sight. 7 Living so near to the birds and small animals, the Teenie Weenies naturally make friends with these neighbors. The little people have found out that the birds and animals can be most neighborly and helpful, and the Teenie Weenies often help the birds and animals too. Nick, the squirrel, is one of their close friends. He helps the Teenie Weenies dig their vegetables with his sharp claws. He sometimes pulls their sled when they are storing up nuts for winter use, and the Teenie Weenies help Nick gather nuts for his own storehouse. The birds are very helpful neighbors too. They supply the Teenie Weenies with most of the news of the neighborhood, for birds, in flying about, see everything of interest that happens and they report those facts to the Teenie Weenies. The Teenie Weenies often use the friendly birds for airplanes. They climb onto a bird's back and ride as easy as the big people ride in transport planes. In return for this friendly help, the Teenie Weenies help the birds build their nests. In winter, when the snow covers the ground and food is hard to find, the Teenie Weenies cook wheat and corn to feed the hungry birds. It is most fortunate that the Teenie Weenies have such friendly neighbors. Some of the birds and animals are wise and some are more or less stupid, but they all help to make a very pleasant life for the little people. There is seldom a dull moment in the tangle of briers where Teenie Weenie Town stands. CHAPTER I Uppity Orioles (jOGO squatted on the kitchen porch of the shoe house with a Teenie Weenie chopping bowl held tightly between his tiny knees. The bowl had been made from half a hickory-nut shell. The little chap hacked at some pieces of boiled frog ham which would soon appear on the Teenie Weenie dinner table in a heap of delicious brown hash. Gogo began to nod his head with the even clop of the tiny hash knife and presently broke into an old Teenie Weenie song. "De fish is in de watah, a-paddlin' wid his fin; De cat is sittin' on de sho'e, wishin' he could swim. De mouse is in de bottle, a-thumbin' of his nose; De cat is nearly frantic, as yo' can well suppose. De bird is in de treetop, way up in de sky; De cat is sittin' on de ground, a-wishin' he could fly." The Cook came to the kitchen door carrying a cherry-seed bowl in which he was rapidly beating a sauce for the baked raisin he had just taken out of the Teenie Weenie stove. "That song you were singing reminds me that we are going to have a new neighbor," said the Cook. "How dat?" asked Gogo. "A bird is building a nest over in that old tree," answered the Cook, pointing with his Teenie Weenie fork toward a tall tree that stands along the lane near Teenie Weenie Town. 9 "What kind of bird buildin' dat nest?" asked Gogo. "Baltimore oriole," said'the Cook. Gogo wiped the chopping knife on the side of the bowl and set the hickory-nut shell on the porch floor. "Oriole mighty pretty bird," he said, "and dey make a fine nest. Maybe we-all can help wid de nest. Birds all time lookin' fo' string and horsehairs. We ought to find some, and dat would save de bird a heap of flyiri'." The Teenie Weenies are always interested when birds build their nests in the neighborhood of Teenie Weenie Town. They were particularly interested in this nest, for Baltimore orioles build very neat and unusual nests. The little people gathered strings and bits of thread. They found some long horsehairs and laid them out where the bird could easily find them. The Teenie Weenies tried to make friends with the orioles, but neither the highly colored bird nor his not-so-gayly dressed wife would have anything to do with them. At first the little people thought nothing of their behavior because they knew the birds were very busy building their nest and had little time for visiting. W T hen the long pouchlike nest had been finished, the mother bird was constantly sitting on her eggs and her husband spent most of his time gathering food for his wife. When the young birds were hatched out, the parent birds were busy bring- ing bugs and worms to their hungry children. As the summer came on, the Teenie Weenies often captured caterpillars or grubworms and gave them to the birds, who received them with a mere nod of the head in thanks. "Say!" growled the Dunce one morning. "Those orioles are uppity. They think they are too good to have anything to do with us. I'm not going to break my back luggin' caterpillars to such uppity neighbors." "I don't think they are uppity," put in the Cowboy. "They are just quiet birds and they are too busy taking care of their young ones to have time for visiting." 10 "Well, I think they are uppity," said the Dunce, ^'and I'm not going to have anything to do with them." All through the summer the orioles went about their affairs without paying much attention to the Teenie Weenies, and so the- Teenie Weenies paid little attention to the orioles, for the little folks were busier than usual. Some of the vegetables had done well in the Teenie Weenie garden, but the corn had turned out badly. The little people had planted three stalks of corn. One stalk had been eaten off by a strange rabbit and the other two had died, for the weather had been very dry. The Teenie Weenies had carried hundreds of thimble- fuls of water from the creek, but even this tremendous amount of work had not been enough to save the corn. Corn is a very important crop to the Teenie Weenies. It is really the Teenie Weenie staff of life, for they make most of their bread from corn. A grain of corn, parched and hammered into flour, will make a loaf of Teenie Weenie bread. One grain, when soaked in lye water, swells up into a white fluffy grain of hominy which is then cut into slices and fried crisply in hickory-nut oil. The little people always like to store away more corn than they would use, for they often feed the hungry birds during the winter when the snow covered the ground. For days the Teenie Weenies talked of nothing but the loss of their corn. It would be a lean winter without corn, so the little people began hunting seeds. They had some wheat left over from the year before and of course they would have some vegetables from their garden to put away in their storehouse. They found a number of sunflower seeds and the Teenie Weenie Indian discovered some wild rice, but the mallard ducks had eaten // fcltl// /Jul most of it and the little folks were able to gather only a few grains. "We could probably get some corn from that farm down the road," suggested the Cowboy. "That's too dangerous," said the Old Soldier with a wooden leg. "I'd have to be mighty hungry before I'd go there." Most of the little people nodded their tiny heads in agreement. To reach the farm the Teenie Weenies would have to travel through strange country where they were not known to the cats and dogs along the way. The little folks had many friends among the dogs and cats in their neighborhood T but strange animals wouldn't know the Teenie Weenies were friendly people. They might pounce suddenly on a Teenie Weenie thinking he was a mouse. It had been reported that several weasels lived near the cornfield and a weasel is the last animal a Teenie Weenie would care to meet. One day late in September, while several of the Teenie Weenies were salting frog hams near the tomato can that the little folks used for a smokehouse, the oriole flew down and settled on the lower branch of a bush near by. The bird held a grain of corn in his beak and looked inquiringly at the Teenie Weenies. "It's that uppity bird!" said the Dunce. "Don't pay any attention to him." "Allie same he want to say somethings," said the Chinaman, and the little chap ran over to hear what the oriole had to tell. The bird hopped out of the bush, and dropped the grain of corn on the ground. Then he made motions with his head and wings which the Chinaman understood to be an invitation to climb on the bird's back. The little chap climbed on, and the bird spread his wings, flew over the treetops, and landed in the lane that passes near Teenie Weenie Town. There, right in the middle of the road, lay two large ears of yellow corn. There were fresh wagon tracks along the lane, and it was plain to see that the corn had fallen off 12 K>. the farmer's wagon as he had driven by. "Jimminy Clismas ! Muchie much clorn!" shouted the delighted Chinaman. Thanking the bird, he set off for the shoe house as fast as his short legs could carry him. The Teenie Weenies were greatly excited with the news. They hurried to the lane, where they shouted with joy over the sight of the two big ears of corn. "That corn must be moved out of the road as soon as possible," said the Old Soldier with a wooden leg. "If an automobile should drive along here and run over that corn, it would be ruined." "That's right," agreed the General. "We must drag the ears off the road. It will take too long to shell the corn there, and a car may come along at any moment." The Teenie Weenie men ran back to the town and began carrying up boards, Teenie Weenie jacks, Teenie Weenie tools, and a number of lead pencils on which the big ears of corn could be rolled out of the road. First the little men worked a stout Teenie Weenie plank under one of the ears of corn and then they dug down into the ground and set a Teenie Weenie jack under each end of the plank. The same thing was repeated on the other end of the ear and then four of the Teenie Weenies screwed up the jacks until the corn was lifted off the ground. When the corn was raised high enough other planks and several pencils were placed under the ear. Next the Teenie Weenies fixed a stout string to the cradle on which the corn lay and the other end of the string was fastened to a Teenie Weenie windlass. When everything was ready the Old Soldier gave the word and two of the stoutest Teenie Weenies began turning the cranks on the windlass. As the corn was slowly moved along, some of the Teenie Weenie men laid boards in front of it for a track, while 13 others kept placing pencils in front of the corn as fast as they rolled out at the back. Little by little, they moved the corn out of the lane and left it in a little cleared spot near some asters. While the men were working, the oriole flew down and settled on a stick that lay near by. The General thanked the bird for his kindness in telling them about the corn, but it was plain to see the bird did not understand what he had said. "Me tell 'im," said the Chinaman, and the' little chap began making motions and queer chirping sounds. The bird seemed to understand the Chinaman. He chirped back at a great rate and then, bowing to the Teenie Weenies, he flew away. "Well, drown me in a thimbleful of molasses if that don't beat you!" exclaimed the Dunce. "I thought that was an uppity bird and now he turns out to be most unuppity." "That's just what I've been telling you all summer," said the Cowboy. "Just because a bird doesn't want to loaf around you is no sign he's uppity." Several unprincipled mice had been hanging around the neighborhood of Teenie Weenie Town, so the General thought it might be best to place a guard over the two ears of corn during the night. The next morning the little people began carrying the grain to their storehouse. Some Teenie Weenies pried the big grains from the cob with some small finishing nails that had been made into crow- bars, while others carried the corn in sacks to the Teenie Weenie storehouse. When the grain had been stacked away it nearly ~^f^\ filled their storeroom. Now the little peo- ple would have plenty of food to last them through the winter, for which they could thank an uppity neighbor who wasn't really uppity. 14 x a CHAPTER 2 Tompkins JVLany of the birds and especially the respectable mice criticized the Teenie Weenies for having anything to do with Tompkins. The Teenie Weenies really didn't care much for Tompkins. He lived at one of the big houses not far away, and the little folks were always polite to him, for Tompkins was a big cat with a rather shady reputation. The mice couldn't endure him, and the very smell of him sent them scampering off into the nearest catproof hole. The birds were in terror of him, too. Even some of the dogs in the neighborhood had great respect for Tompkins's claws. Ginky told the Dunce that Tompkins had carried off several young chickens. The Teenie Weenies didn't pay much attention to Ginky's words, for he is a decidedly bad mouse and his word doesn't amount to much. In spite of all Tompkins' faults, he has usually been nice to the Teenie Weenies. Then, in some ways, the cat has been of service to the Teenie Weenies. If an unfriendly rat or a weasel prowls around Teenie Weenie Town, the little folks call on Tompkins for help. If he happens to be in good humor, he soon chases the prowl- ers away. Once several of the Teenie Weenies caught two fine minnows in the creek. As the little fishermen were walking up the trail to the 15 Teenie Weenie village, with the minnows tied to stout twigs, they met Tompkins. The General insisted that one of the minnows be given to the cat. Tompkins grabbed the fish with a mere nod of thanks and trotted off into the thick bushes. "Say, Jimminy fishhooks!" exploded the Dunce when the cat was out of hearing. "Why did you give that cat our fish?" "Well, he's our neighbor," answered the General, "and a fish now and then isn't a high price to pay for a contented neighbor. You never can tell when Tompkins might be a useful friend." A few weeks later the General's words proved true, for Tomp- kins turned out to be a very helpful neighbor. For several nights a large rat had been prowling around the Teenie Weenie smokehouse. In the smokehouse hung a great many frog hams which the little folks had smoked and which would be their main meat supply dur- ing the winter. The smokehouse is a tin can and it had been anchored tightly to the ground, but it had a wooden door. One night the rat started to gnaw through that door. The General sent word to Tomp- kins who, for once, wasn't carousing. The cat came immediately and chased the rat away. The Teenie Weenies haven't been bothered by rats since. Now even the Dunce believes that it pays to have the good will of your neighbors, whether you like them or not. Not long after Tompkins had chased the rat away, the Teenie Weenies heard from Skippy the chipmunk, who lived under a tree near Teenie Weenie Town, that Tompkins had made off with a couple of young rabbits. That was sad news, for the Teenie Weenies liked the young rabbits, who were the children of a neighbor. "That Tompkins is just a nasty old brute !" the Lady of Fashion said when she heard the news. "I don't think we ought to have any- thing more to do with him." "Yes," answered the General, "Tompkins is a pretty bad cat, 16 but it won't help him if we refuse to have anything to do with him. As long as we are on speaking terms with him, we might be able to do him some good." One nice morning the Teenie Weenies went over to the big woods to gather beechnuts. They filled a big basket with the nuts and started back through the woods. Presently several birds began to twitter excitedly in the top of some bushes. That told the Teenie Weenies that some animal was prowling near. The Policeman and the Cook slipped quietly ahead to investigate. In a few minutes they returned with the news that Tompkins was sitting under the bushes. "I suppose he's after a bird," said the Lady of Fashion. "No, he's sick," said the Policeman. "He was eating saw grass, and that's usually a sign that a cat doesn't feel well." The Teenie Weenies moved out from the low-growing bush under which they had hidden, and walked up to the place where Tompkins sat. The cat merely glanced at the little folks through his half-closed eyes and only grunted at their greetings. "He sure does look sick," whispered the Doctor to the China- man. "Ask him if we can do anything for him." The Chinaman stepped up close to Tompkins' big head and began to make motions and queer cat sounds. The cat opened one green eye and stared at the Chinaman for a long time before he answered. Then he made some whimpering mews which the China- man translated for the Doctor. "Him velly sick," said the Chinaman. "He say him eat muchie saw glass and it no make him better." "Tell him to stick out his tongue," said the Doctor. The Chinaman gave Tompkins the Doctor's message. The cat slowly stuck out his pink tongue and the Doctor examined it carefully. "Just as I thought," said the Doctor. "He's been eating a lot 17 Stuck out his pink tongue . of meat lately and he hasn't been exercising enough." "He say," said the Chinaman turning to the Doctor, "that he only eat three ratses, one mouses, and two rabbitses." "My word!" exclaimed the Doctor, winking at the General. "Tell Tompkins that he must eat no more rabbits. That's why he's sick. Rabbits are very bad for him and it's bad for the rabbits, too. And make it strong when you tell him." Tompkins listened to the Chinaman with much interest and then he told the Teenie Weenie to ask the Doctor for some medicine. The Chinaman told the Doctor what the cat had asked and the Doctor took several tiny pills out of a small box which he always carried with him. "Tell Tompkins to take one of these pills after each mouse or rat, but not to eat rabbits under any circumstances," warned the Doctor, "and tell him to stay home and not to be run- ning the alleys at all hours of the night." The Chinaman laid the pills in front of the cat and delivered the Doctor's message to Tompkins who nodded his head in agreement. Then the cat walked off without even a word of thanks, but that's just what one would expect from a cat that would eat young rabbits. However, the Doctor's advice must have been heeded by the cat, for the Teenie Weenies haven't heard of a single rabbit being taken by Tompkins since, and it has been reported that he seldom runs the alleys at night. 19 '"'•(Cc" Ginky vJ N E of the very smallest of the Teenie Weenies' neighbors is the most troublesome. He is not dangerous like the weasel, or powerful enough really to harm the little folks, but he has sharp teeth. He has given a few of the Teenie Weenies quite nasty bites when they have been forced into a fight with him. Ginky is a mouse. He is lazy, he lies, and he has broken into some of the Teenie Weenies' houses in search of tidbits, for Ginky is very fond of good food. He spends a great deal of his time prowling in the big peoples' houses of the neighborhood. Yes, Ginky is a bad mouse, but in a way it isn't his fault, for Ginky lost his father and mother in a trap accident when he was very young. Without parents to teach him good manners, he grew up into a very rude and troublesome mouse. When the Teenie Weenies first met Ginky, they were sorry for him and tried to help him, but their kindness was lost on the disreputable creature. After he had broken into the shoe house while the Teenie Weenies were away one day and had eaten up a thimbleful of doughnuts, the little folks decided they'd have to punish the mouse. They built a jail out of a pint glass fruit jar and made a strong door through the metal top. Ginky is very handy with his teeth, and glass and metal are about the only things that would keep him put. However, the jail didn't help Ginky any, for, being a lazy mouse, he liked being 20 there. He had nothing to do but sleep and eat. After a few days the Teenie Weenies grew tired of supporting the lazy mouse, so they tried to let him out. Ginky wouldn't leave the jail and the little men had to drag him out by force. That was one of the times he bit the Policeman. Ginky loved parties, too, especially if any food was to be served. He can smell good food a long way off and that's how he knew that the Chinaman was giving a party. The Chinaman is a fine cook and makes many Teenie Weenie Chinese dishes. They are a great treat to the Teenie Weenies who are fortunate enough to receive an invitation to the old teapot where the Chinaman lives and does the Teenie Weenie laundry. The General, the Doctor, and the Lady of Fashion, along with another Teenie Weenie woman, had been invited to the teapot for one of the Chinaman's famous dinners. The little chap was busy for several days before the party, getting the teapot in order. He scrubbed the tiny floor until it was as clean as a lollipop stick. He hammered four grains of rice into flour for rice cakes, made three noodles, and pre- pared half a small acorn-shell bowl of Teenie Weenie Chinese sauce, besides the many other things that go to make his dinners so good. It was while the Chinaman was baking some rice cakes that Ginky received his first sniff of the com- ing party. The delicious odor of the bak- ing cakes went up through the spout of the teapot which serves the place for a chimney. He looked through a window and saw the Chinaman baking the rice cakes on his Teenie Weenie stove. The sight of the crisp little cakes made the mouse's mouth fairly water, and he knocked boldly at the door. When the Chinaman had pulled 21 ' the telephone slug which he used for a griddle off the stove, he hurried over and opened the door. "Smells good in there," said Ginky, wrinkling up his nose in a deep sniff as he tried to walk into the teapot. "No, no, Glinky. You can't come in," said the Chinaman. "Gonna have a party?" asked the mouse. "Yes, me is," answered the Chinaman. "Me velly velly busy. You allie same glo away now." "Are you going to invite me?" asked Ginky. "No, Glinky," said the Chinaman shaking his head. "You velly bad mouses." "But I'll promise to be good, if you let me come to your party." "No, Glinky," the Chinaman answered. "Your plomises no better than your manners. You velly bad mouses." "Well, you can give me some of those cakes you are baking, can't you?" asked the mouse, glancing over the Chinaman's shoulder at the pile of rice cake. "Allie same me glive you tlee clakes if you glo aways," said the Chinaman. "You're stingy. Give me six and I'll go away," sneered Ginky, and then he did a very rude thing. He tried to push past the China- man into the teapot. That made the good-natured little Chinaman angry and he slammed the door in the mouse's face. Ginky was furious and he began to yell bad names at the Chinaman through the window, but the little chap went right on baking cakes without paying a bit of attention to the angry mouse. Finally Ginky picked up a small stone and threw it at the teapot, breaking one of the panes of cellophane in a window. "I'll get even with you for this," Ginky screamed at the Chinaman through the broken window. "No one can refuse to invite me to his party without getting paid back. You've insulted me, and that's one thing I won't stand for. I'll get even with you if I lose my tail doing it." 22 The Chinaman looked up at the chimney Ginky's loud threats brought several Teenie Weenies running to the laundry and they promptly chased the mouse out of the village. The Turk replaced the pane of broken cellophane in the window and by the time that was done the Chinaman had put on a clean shirt and was ready to receive his guests. Ginky hid under some bushes near the village. When it began to grow dark, he sneaked up towards the laundry just as the General, the Doctor, and the two Teenie Weenie ladies were knocking on the door. He hid behind a rosebush stem for a few minutes and then he tiptoed to the window and looked in. The four little guests had already sat down at the table and the Chinaman was setting his best cherry-seed soup plates in front of them. The plates were filled with thick crawfish chowder with bits of crispy noodles floating on top. When the chowder had been eaten, the Chinaman set a big acorn-shell bowl of frog ham chop suey on the table and another bowl with six snowy white boiled rice grains in it. Ginky was so angry that his whiskers twitched and his tail ached. "I'll fix 'em," Ginky sneered and he dashed off into the bushes. In a few minutes he returned with a piece of old rag in his mouth. The mouse is a good climber and he easily crawled up onto the top of the teapot. Making his way quietly out onto the spout, he stuffed the rag down into the chimney. Then he leaped bax:k onto the top of the teapot and waited. With the chimney stopped up, the smoke began to fill the teapot. Presently the Teenie Weenies all came run- ning out, rubbing their eyes. The Chinaman looked up at the chimney, saw the rag stuffed in it, and then saw Ginky sneering down at him. "Oh you nasty mouses!" shouted the Chinaman, waving his clenched fists at him. "Ginky!" shouted the General. "Take that rag out and get right down off that roof this very minute." "You have spoiled my party," cried the Chinaman. 24 "Ah, don't fool with him," the Doctor told the General. Sev- eral of the Teenie Weenies had noticed the smoke and they came running to the spot. "Get off that roof or I'll arrest you," shouted the Teenie Weenie Policeman, who came running up to the teapot, and who could talk pidgin mouse fairly well. "That's fine," answered Ginky. "Why don't you do it? I've been trying to break into your jail for weeks." "Well, you won't get anything to eat if we put you in jail," shouted the Policeman. "You'll stay there without food until you promise to behave yourself." "I never make promises unless I can eat," Ginky retorted, glar- ing at the Policeman. While the little folks were arguing with the mouse, the Turk slipped away and presently returned with a Teenie Weenie ladder. He placed it against the side of the teapot and climbed up with a sharp needle in his hand. Ginky saw him and leaped to the ground before the Turk could jab him. Some of the little men tried to catch the mouse, but he managed to dodge them and vanished into the thick grass and weeds. The Turk removed the rag from the chimney and when the teapot windows had been opened the wind soon blew out the smoke. The Policeman patrolled around the teapot and the Teenie Weenies finished their dinner in peace. W, vaWY'/, 25 CHAPTER 4 vAVJ/A ^ Tilly Titter J INKS ! I'm hungry," said the Dunce as he sat down on the steps that led up to the diving platform the Teenie Weenies had built on the edge of the saucedish that they used for a swimming pool. Gogo and the Dunce had finished mopping up the last drop of water in the dish, for later the water might freeze and crack the dish. "Yo' is always hungry," grinned Gogo. "Ah sometimes think yo' is hungrier after you eat a meal than befo' you eat. Yo' about de eatinist Teenie Weenie they is." "Well, I never see you holdin' back from the dinner table," said the Dunce, "and I believe you could do more damage to a watermelon than a cutworm could." "Yes," Gogo said with a nod. "Ah reckon ah could live right comfortable in a watahmelon fo' quite a spell." "I've been thinkin' about taffy all day," said the Dunce. "In fact I've been thinkin' about it ever since we scraped that molasses can the big folks threw away. We brought five thimblefuls of it home, and I'm going to ask the Cook if we can't have some so we can make up a batch of taffy." The Dunce jumped up and started towards the shoe house but Gogo said, "We bettah finish dis work first." "Ah, shucks!" growled the Dunce. "We can put that cover on any time." 26 "De General won't let yo' make any taffy until dat cover is on de swimmin' pool. You-all is jus' wastin' yo' bref in walkin' ovah to de house without finishin' dis work. Suah as ah is standin' heah, de General is goin' fo' to send yo' back," Gogo said and he started to unroll the small piece of roofing paper with which the Teenie Weenies covered their swimming pool. The Dunce sighed and, taking one end of the paper, he dragged it up the steps to the diving platform, while Gogo walked around the dish with the other end. After much grunting and tug- ging, the two Teenie Weenies finally finished the job. "Theah!" exclaimed Gogo when the cover was in place. "Dat will keep de rain, de leaves, an' de dirt out. When de weathah is warm again, we-all can go swimmin'." Gogo picked up the two-ounce sledge hammer that they had used to drive in the stakes, and the two Teenie Weenies set off for the shoe house, where the Dunce immediately asked the General for permission to make taffy. "Yes," said the General. "You may have the molasses, but you'll have to get the Cook's permission to make the candy." When the two Teenie Weenies went into the kitchen, they found the Cook washing out some Teenie Weenie dish towels. He had just finished putting the place in order after the noon meal and he didn't like the idea of candy-making in his clean kitchen. "Shucks!" he growled. "You fellows will muss everything up in here. I don't want to start dinner tonight with sticky taffy all over the place." "Ah, say!" answered the Dunce, "I'll clean it up when we're through." "Yes, I know how you clean up," growled the Cook. When Gogo promised to see that everything was put back in place, how- ever, the Cook gave him permission, for Gogo is extremely neat and clean and he usually keeps his promises. 21 The Cook brought out half a thimbleful of molasses and two of his biggest cake pans. "You can use that kettle to cook the candy in," he said, pointing to the metal top of a catsup bottle that hung back of the Teenie Weenie stove. Gogo is an excellent cook and he put on the molasses to cook, while the Dunce brought in a big armful of stove wood from the pile back of the kitchen. When the candy had cooked for the proper amount of time, Gogo poured it into the two cake pans and then the two little chaps set them outside on the woodpile to cool. While they were washing up the kettle and waiting for the candy to be ready to pull, they heard a great commotion outside. Running out they saw Tilly Titter, the English sparrow, dragging a pan of the candy around the ground. Some of the sticky taffy was stuck to the bird's beak, and she was clawing frantically with one of her feet. "My word!" chirped the bird. "I'm burnin' up. It's 'ot." The Teenie Weenies all understand Tilly's twittering, for she is one of their best friends and they see a great deal of her. Tilly is really the Teenie Weenie's newspaper, for she drops down under the rosebush almost every day and gives the little folks the news of the neighborhood. She flies all about the country near Teenie Weenie Town and her bright little eyes never miss a single thing that happens. Tilly jerked her head about trying to free her beak from the sticky mess, but the candy clung tight to the pan and it flew around so fast that none of the Teenie Weenies could grab it. Finally Gogo managed to dodge in and grab the pan. He pulled it free of Tilly's beak and the bird began to wipe her bill frantically on the ground. A number of Teenie Weenies had gathered about the 28 Gogo managed to dodge in and grab the pan bird and they helped her pull the sticky candy from her beak and feet. "What in the world was in that pan?" asked Tilly rubbing her beak on the ground. "Was it glue?" "It was candy," laughed the Cook. ' "Candy!" exclaimed Tilly. "Well, you can 'ave my share. I don't want any more of the sticky stuff." "How did you get into it?" asked the Cook. "I 'ope you'll pardon me," Tilly said, "for mussin' up your candy. I didn't know what the bloomin' stuff was or I wouldn't 'ave touched it. I 'appened to drop down for a bit of gossip and I saw these two- pans sittin' on the woodpile. They looked good and so I thought I'd take a taste." "Oh, that's all right, Tilly," said the Dunce. "We have another pan left and that will be enough to give us all a bite." The Dunce took the other pan of candy from the woodpile and carried it into the kitchen. Then Gogo and the Dunce washed their hands and rubbed a drop of hickory-nut oil on their tiny fingers. "What's that for?" asked Tilly, who had stuck her head through the kitchen door and was watching the two Teenie Weenies with much interest. "We are going to pull the taffy," said the Dunce, "and we put the oil on our hands so the taffy won't stick to them." "My word!" exclaimed the bird. "I wish I 'ad known about that oil before I sampled the sticky stuff." Gogo and the Dunce divided the candy and each began to pull his share back and forth with his strong little hands. Soon the candy began to turn from dark brown into a lighter tan color. When it was quite a light tan, they pulled it out into long ropes, which they coiled around in a couple of oiled pans. Next they cut the long ropes of candy into pieces nearly as big as raspberry seeds, for that is about as big a piece of candy as a Teenie Weenie could get into his mouth. 30 "You fellows go out and gather up that taffy in the yard," the Policeman told Gogo and the Dunce just as they were cutting up the last of the candy. "The ants will be after it and we don't want any ants prowling around here. Don't leave it anywhere near the town, either." "Dear me!" chirped Tilly, eyeing the taffy which she had scattered over the ground. "That was my fault. I ought to clean it up, but the stuff sticks to my bill and I don't want to get stuck up with it again." "You all can help tote it away," Gogo said. "Ah'll gather it up and tuck it in a piece of paper so it won't stick *o yo' beak, and yo' can take it with yo' when yo' fly away from heah." "That's fine," Tilly said. "I'll take it away off and drop it miles from here, for I was on my way over to the big woods to see if I couldn't find a few beechnuts." "It's nice of you, Tilly, to take that taffy away," said the Dunce, pulling a large piece of candy out of his mouth so he could talk. "That will save us a trip down to the creek." "Well, it's nice of you not to be angry at me, after I spoiled your candy," chirped Tilly. Picking up the bundle of taffy, which Gogo had tied into a neat package, the bird spread her wings and disappeared over the top of the tangled rosebushes that stretch their thorny protection over the tiny village. CHAPTER Skippy OKIPPY had been shot. The dreadful news came to the Teenie Weenies while they were eating their noonday meal, and not a single Teenie Weenie, except the Dunce, could eat another mouthful. The Lady of Fashion burst into tears and ran to her tiny bedroom. Skippy is a cheerful chipmunk who lives in a neat home beneath an old stump which stands not far from the lane that runs by Teenie Weenie Town. Skippy loves to play with the Teenie Weenies and sometimes he takes the little folks for rides on his back. He knows where the best beechnuts and hazelnuts can be found and he tells them when the frost grapes are ripe. He climbs the tall nut trees and cuts off the nuts for them. Tilly Titter brought the news of the accident. She began screaming at the top of her voice even before she had landed on the ground in front of the shoe house. "Something dreadful 'as 'appened!" she cried as the Teenie Weenies came streaming out of the house. "'E's been shot." "Who has been shot?" asked the General. "Skippy!" shouted the excited bird. "Oh, no!" cried the General. "I hope it is a mistake." "It's the honest truth," screamed Tilly. "I 'ad it from a bluejay that saw 'im 'it. Skippy was up in a 'ickory nut tree when some big 32 boys came along and shot 'im. The jay said he was 'it in the back leg, for 'e limped when 'e ran into 'is 'ole." "How long ago did this happen?" asked the Doctor. "More than an hour ago," answered the bird. "I'll get my medicine case and we'll go right over and take a look at Skippy," said the Doctor and, running into the shoe house, he quickly returned with his tiny medicine case. "I'll go with you," said the General, and, turning to Tilly, he asked if the bird would fly them to Skippy's hole. "Sure!" cried the bird. "I'll 'ave you there in a jiffy." Tilly squatted down and, when the Doctor and the General had climbed onto her back, she spread her wings and flew off in the direction of Skippy's home. "Lawsy!" sighed Gogo. "Ah hope nothin' happens to him." "There is no better neighbor than Skippy," put in the Police- man. "He is always doing something for us." While the Teenie Weenies were still standing around talking about Skippy, Tilly Titter flew back into the town. "The Doctor wants a lot of bandages," said the bird. "'E said for the Cook to come back and bring a thimble so 'e can have plenty of water. 'E says to bring along a flint and steel so 'e can make a fire to 'eat the water. 'E wants a couple of lamps too." "Did you see Skippy?" asked the Policeman. "No," answered the bird. "Skippy is down in 'is 'ole and I'm not going down into any old 'ole where you can't use your wings." "Is Skippy badly hurt?" asked the Turk. "The Doctor says 'e thinks Skippy 'as a bad 'urt," Tilly said. "The Doctor says it is so dark down in the 'ole 'e can't see well, and that's why 'e wants the lamps." The Cook, who had gone into the kitchen, soon returned with a thimble in which he had stuffed four Teenie Weenie sheets and two Teenie Weenie lamps. The lamp bowls were made from cherry 33 seeds. They had tiny wicks of string and they burned vegetable oil. The Cook climbed onto Tilly's back and then turned towards the Teenie Weenies standing about the bird. "One of you fellows had better come along," he said. "You might be needed." "I'll go!" shouted the Dunce, who never overlooked a chance for a ride. "You'd be more trouble than a bumblebee," said the Cook. Turning to the Turk, he told that sturdy little chap to climb onto Tilly's back. When the Turk had crawled up, the bird flew off and headed for Skippy's hole, where Tilly landed them in a few minutes. When the Turk and the Cook slid off Tilly's back, the Doctor and the General were standing in front of the entrance of Skippy's hole. The Doctor told the Cook to get some water and build a fire. He took the Teenie Weenie sheets and began tearing them into long strips, while the Turk went off with the thimble in search of water. The Cook gathered some fine fluffy milkweed and a few tiny sticks. Taking the flint and steel out of his pocket, he soon had a fire burning. Then he hunted up some small stones and put them around the burning sticks, so the thimble could be set over the fire. "Is Skippy badly hurt?" asked the Cook. "He has a shot in his rear left leg," said the Doctor, "I don't believe the bone is broken, but I'll have to remove the shot." Presently the Turk came back with the thimbleful of clear water which he had found in a spring near by. He set the thimble over the fire and then gathered up several armfuls of dry twigs. The Turk and the Cook kept up a hot fire and it wasn't long before the water began to boil. The Doctor lit the two little lamps at the fire. Handing one to the General and telling the Turk and the Cook to follow with the water, he started down the hole. The Turk found a slender pole and ran it through the two wire handles that were fastened to the top of the thimble. Then he and 34 the Cook followed with the water. The hole was rough and very steep in places, but by the light of the Teenie Weenie lamps the little men managed to make their way down the narrow passage. The passage made several turns among the roots which ran from the stump on the ground above, but soon it opened into a space about as large as a football. There, in a nest of moss and leaves, lay Skippy. While the Turk and the General held the tiny lamps, the Doctor cut away the fur from the wound. Then he gently washed it clean. He examined the wound carefully and took a tiny knife out of his medicine bag. "Now this is going to hurt some, Skippy," he said. The chip- munk made no answer, and it was hard to tell whether he under- stood the Doctor or not. Anyhow the Teenie Weenies knew that Skippy would understand that they were trying to help him. The Doctor made several cuts with the knife and then, with another little tool, he probed around for the bullet. Finally he found the bullet and, with the aid of a pair of Teenie Weenie plyers, he removed it. It was a BB shot. "Now let me have the water," said the Doctor. When the thimble was set down near him, he washed the wound again. Next he bound several of the long strips he had torn from the Teenie Weenie sheets around the leg, completely covering the wound. Taking the shot from the leg must have been very painful, but Skippy never made a single sound or so much as twitched a whisker. That took a lot of courage, even for a chipmunk. "Now, Skippy," said the Doctor as he washed his tiny instruments and put them in his medicine bag, "you'll be all right in a few days, but you ought to stay off that leg for a while. The Cook will bring some suitable food to you and we will drop in often to see how you are getting along." On the way out, the Doctor stepped into a little side hole that opened into the main passage. It was one of the chipmunk's food 35 storage places. It was full of beechnuts, hazelnuts, acorns, and a lot of various seeds. "They look a bit musty," said the Doctor. "I believe he ought to have some fresher nuts to eat until he gets over this hurt." "I'll ask the men to bring over some of the nuts we found the other day behind the grocery store," said the General. "There are several kinds among them, and that will give Skippy a little variety." The next rrforning the Teenie Weenies loaded a number of nuts into one of their tiny sleds and pulled them to Skippy' s home. For several days the Doctor visited Skippy. He put fresh band- ages on his leg and the other Teenie Weenies saw that the chipmunk had plenty of water. Skippy was soon able to walk out of his hole. He limped for over a week, but it wasn't long before he was skipping up trees as easily as ever. 36 ,/tvt .i- CHAPTER ' " "^ > -Sv The Rhyming Rabbit 1 HERE is a certain grocery store in the neighborhood village at which the little people trade. They don't actually buy things there, for the Teenie Weenies do not have money. Besides, it would be a great shock to a big grocery clerk if a Teenie Weenie should step into his store and ask for one strawberry or a couple of raisins. But the little people do get many things from this grocery, and the clerk doesn't even know that such tiny folks really come there. One of the Teenie Weenie Policeman's duties is to keep a watchful eye on the back of this store. One morning he was delighted to see a banana lying there. It looked like a very good banana except for one end, which was quite soft. He immediately hurried to Teenie Weenie Town and reported his find to the Cook. "That's wonderful !" exclaimed the Cook. "We'll have banana shortcake for supper tonight." "And some banana salad," put in the Lady of Fashion, who was ironing a tiny nightgown on the kitchen table. The Teenie Weenies put on their warm eartabs and their mit- tens and trooped ofT over the crusted snow to the store. The Cowboy had brought along a coil of twine. Tying this around one end of the banana, the little men pulled it under the cover of some boards, 37 where they could cut off as much as they could use. The little men had brought along a Teenie Weenie crosscut saw. Gogo and the Turk, who are experts with the saw, soon cut off the bad end of the banana. Next they cut off a generous slice about one-fourth of an inch thick, for that is about all the little folks would be able to eat before it spoiled. "This is a fine banana," said the General. "It seems a pity to leave it here to spoil." "We could drag it over to the Rhyming Rabbit," suggested the Policeman. "He probably hasn't been out of his hole with all this snow on the ground, and I'll bet he hasn't a bite to eat." "That's a good idea," said the General. "We'll take it to him." "Ah, shucks!" complained the lazy Dunce. "Why do we al- ways have to be feeding that old rabbit?" "Because he's one of our closest neighbors," answered the General. "He has done many nice things for us and he's old and crippled. We would be very ungrateful and poor neighbors if we didn't help him." "Well," growled the Dunce, "I was going skating. If I help with that banana, I won't get much chance to skate." "It's too bad if you have to give up a little of your pleasure to help a sick old rabbit," said the General. "Just suppose you had a terrible stomachache, such as you sometimes get when you eat too many doughnuts, and the Doctor wouldn't come to help you just because he wanted to play. Wouldn't you think he was a mighty selfish fellow?" "Y-e-s, I would," admitted the Dunce, "but this is different. This is just an old rabbit." "Old rabbits get into trouble just the same as Teenie Weenies do," said the General. "What would have happened to you if we hadn't pulled you out of that pan when you fell through the ice?" "Well, I might have drowned," mumbled the Dunce. 38 The big rabbit limped in sight "It seems to me you ought to be ashamed of yourself for not wanting to help the Rhyming Rabbit." "I am," admitted the Dunce. "I'll help." The Teenie Weenies tied several strings to the banana and began pulling it towards the Rhyming Rabbit's hole. The banana slid easily over the crusted snow, but it was quite a task to pull it up a hill or over a drift and the little men often had to stop and rest. It was quite hilly near the rabbit's hole, for he lived under a great rock that stood on the side of a steep hill. The Teenie Weenies had to do a lot of pushing, pulling, and grunting before they reached it. The General and the Chinaman went on ahead of the other Teenie Weenies. When they came to the open- ing under the rock where the rabbit lived, they saw that he was at home, for there were no tracks in the snow. "Allie same me glo down and clall labbit," said the Chinaman. The little chap climbed down over a stone and peered into the darkness of the hole. "Mr. Labbit," he called. "Any bodies home?" There was no answer. "I believe he's down there," said the General. "Call again." The Chinaman went farther down into the hole. Cupping his hands around his mouth, he yelled at the top of his voice. "Mr. Labbit please, if you asleep you wakie up for Teenie Weenies have plesent for you." Faint sounds came from the hole, and after a few moments a mumbling voice came through the darkness and said, "Who calls, who calls, I'd like to know; Who calls, who calls, a friend or foe? I'll have no weasel in my den, 40 Nor dogs nor boys nor wicked men. I fear you mean no good to me, So go away and let me be." It was always very difficult for the Teenie Weenies to carry on a conversation with the Rhyming Rabbit. He talked in rhyme and he would not answer the little folks unless they rhymed too. The Chinaman understood the old rabbit best, but the Chinaman was not a good rhymer, and that often caused great confusion. "Allie same we Teenie Weenies here," shouted the Chinaman. "We all time come with blanana for you." The rabbit failed to answer and after a long pause the General called to the Chinaman, "You'll have to talk to him in rhyme or he won't answer." The Chinaman scratched his head and thought deeply. Finally he coughed and said, in a rabbit rhyme, "But, Mr. Labbit, we are fliends We bring to you — we bring to you — " The Chinaman bit his Teenie Weenie thumb nail and tried hard to think of something that rhymed with friends. "We bring to you banana ends," suggested the General. "O.K." said the Chinaman and he began his answer again. "But, Mr. Labbit, we are fliends We bring to you blanana ends." Shuffling sounds came out of the dark hole and presently the big rabbit limped in sight. He blinked his eyes in the strong light, and nodded to the General and the Chinaman. The rabbit glanced at the Teenie Weenies who were dragging the banana towards the entrance of his hole. Tears gathered in his eyes as he said, "The Teenie Weenies — bless my soul — Have come to this old rabbit's hole ! Your visit is a welcome sight, No matter be it day or night." 41 The General told the Chinaman to tell the rabbit that the Teenie Weenies had found the banana and that they thought he would enjoy a bite of fruit. "You'll have to be very careful what you say to him," the General told the Chinaman, "for this rabbit is terribly proud and we don't want to hurt his feelings." The Chinaman puzzled quite a bit before he could get his thoughts into rhyme. After some help from the General, he turned to the rabbit and said, "We found this fluit blehind a store, And we think you not be sore If we blought to you a taste So it wouldn't go to waste, For wasting food is muchie sin And that is why we bling it in." The rabbit was quite overcome with the kindness of the Teenie Weenies. Tears gathered in his eyes and he waited a long time before he replied, "My friends, the good you've done today Is more than rabbits can repay. I'm old and poor and haven't health To gather seeds and carrot wealth, And all that I can offer you Is many thanks for what you do." "That's a very pretty speech," said the Lady of Fashion. Stepping to the entrance of the hole, she asked the Chinaman to remind the rabbit that he was a good neighbor and that Teenie Weenies enjoyed doing things for him without pay. The Chinaman turned to the rabbit and bowing he began, "The lady say we likie do Any things we can for you. A neighbor likie you, she say, Is muchie more than any pay." 42 The rabbit was greatly moved by the Chinaman's verse. His great long ears twitched, his whiskers trembled, and he suddenly broke into loud rabbit sobs. A tear ran down his furry cheek and nearly fell onto the Chinaman, who had to dodge to keep from being soaked to the skin. Rabbit tears, under great emotion, are tremendously big. The rabbit sat up and rubbed his eyes with his front feet. He cleared his voice and tried to rhyme, but he made a poor beginning. Tears gathered again in his eyes and the Chinaman stepped back to a safe distance. The rabbit managed, however, to control his weeping and he tried rhyming again in a shaking voice. "My friends, my friends, my heart is touched. I can't find words to — to — to — " The rabbit covered his eyes with his front feet and burst into tears again. While he wept, the Teenie Weenies moved quietly away. As they passed out of sight behind a snowdrift they heard the rabbit call after them, "Don't go, my friends; just give me time To say my thanks in proper rhyme." The Teenie Weenies had had quite enough of thanks, tears, and rhyme, and so they hurried across the snow toward Teenie Weenie Town. 43 CHAPTER 7 A Bad Neighbor 1 HE snow melted fast under the bright sunshine. Only small drifts lay here and there in the woods thickets. Ferns were pushing their way up through the damp leaves towards the warm sun and the yellow-green buds were swelling on a few bushes. Some early birds were gathering string and dry grass for their nests, while others examined suitable trees and bushes for future homes. The chip- munks were chirping through the woods looking among the leaves for stray nuts which they had overlooked during the busy autumn. Spring was on the way, and the woods folks were awake and busy throughout the neighborhood of Teenie Weenie Town. The Teenie Weenies too were busy. Some of the little men rolled a spoiled potato out of their store house. Other Teenie Weenie men cut off the white shoots that had sprouted on their last two potatoes, which the little people would use for food until others could be grown in the Teenie Weenie garden. The Teenie Weenie store of corn had to be examined and the spoiled grains removed. Firewood had to be cut, for the Teenie Weenie woodhouse was nearly empty after the long winter. The Teenie Weenie women were as busy as the men, for spring house cleaning is just as necessary to Teenie Weenies as it is to big people. The tiny mattresses were carried outside and sunned. 44 Teenie Weenie blankets and Teenie Weenie curtains had to be washed, and Teenie Weenie rugs had to be cleaned. In spite of all the spring work, the little people were happy. One morning, while the Teenie Weenies were burning the last of the dead leaves and twigs that had fallen in the village during the winter, Skippy the chipmunk stopped to chat with the little people. He told them that the trailing arbutus was blooming in the big woods. "Oh, dear!" exclaimed the Lady of Fashion when she heard the news. "I must have some of the blossoms. I'm nearly out of perfume, and nothing makes such a delicious scent as arbutus." The Teenie Weenie men had often brought trailing arbutus blossoms from the woods. The Doctor, who knew how to make perfume from the delicate ' flowers, had kept the Teenie Weenie women supplied with their scent. Several of the Teenie Weenie men promised to gather some of the blossoms the next day, but the little men were unable to keep their promise. Such alarming news reached the Teenie Weenies that the trip to the woods had to be given up. It was Tilly Titter who first told the Teenie Weenies about the weasel that was prowling in the neighborhood. They heard the news from most of their other neighbors too, for the whole country- side was alarmed. '"E did away with eight chickens the other night," Tilly Titter, the English sparrow, excitedly told the Teenie Weenies. "I 'ad it straight from a woodpecker who lives in the old apple tree right over the bloomin' coop. All the mice are packing up and leaving the neighborhood, and there isn't a rabbit to be seen any- where. They're scared 'alf out of their skins." Nick the squirrel reported that two young chipmunks were missing and that the partridges had all left the neighborhood. Ginky asked permission to sleep in the Teenie Weenie jail. 45 "t-I-Fll be safe in the jail," he told the Chinaman. "N-n-no weasel can get into that glass fruit jar." The Teenie Weenies felt sorry for the frightened mouse and they gave him permission to sleep in the jail. The little people kept close to the shoe house, only going out to bring in firewood and to carry an occasional thimbleful of water from the creek. One night the Sailor saw the weasel creeping through the thick brush near Teenie Weenie Town. The little chap ran to the shoe house and gave the alarm. The Teenie Weenies quickly locked and barred all their tiny doors. Around the doors and windows, they poured half a thimbleful of ammonia. This they had found in a big bottle, and had saved for just such an occasion. The weasel came sneaking^ towards the shoe house, weaving his pointed head from side to side on his long neck. He raised up and looked through one of the tiny windows of the shoe house so that the little people could see his glittering evil eyes. When he sniffed the ammonia the Teenie Weenies had scattered about, he showed his sharp teeth in a nasty snarl and backed away, for animals do not like the smell of ammonia. The weasel moved off and the Teenie Weenies watched him sniffing around the coffee can that served the little people for a workshop. The weasel's fine sense of smell quickly told him that no one was in the can. He followed his nose to the jail, no doubt having smelled Ginky there. Presently the Teenie Weenies could hear Ginky' s frightened squeals, and they could hear scratching as the weasel tried to claw open the door. "He'll never get in the jail," said the Policeman. "No weasel can claw through a metal mason-jar top." In a short time the noise in the direction of the jail stopped. From an upstairs window of the shoe house, the Cowboy saw the weasel moving away toward the lane. The next morning Ginky was a nervous wreck. The Doctor 46 had to give the mouse a powerful Teenie Weenie medicine to quiet his shaken nerves. The General decided to send word to Jack, and the Cowboy offered to carry the message to him. The little chap set off with half an acorn full of ammonia for protection. The Cowboy found Jack at home, but the dog was very sick. He had a bad cast of indigestion, having swallowed a quantity of an old overshoe that he had chewed up the night before. Jack promised to chase the weasel away just as soon as he felt better, and the Cowboy returned safely to the shoe house. For two days the Teenie Weenies never ventured far from the Teenie Weenie houses, especially at night. The little folks were soon free of the weasel, however, for Jack found his trail and quickly chased the wicked beast out of the neighborhood of the town. "We had better try and get some of that trailing arbutus before it's gone," said the Cowboy, "or there won't be any perfume." "I don't want you men to go to the big woods while that weasel is running around," said the Lady of Fashion. "I'd rather go without any perfume for the rest of my life than have you boys take any chances with that vicious beast." In a few days the animals and birds around Teenie Weenie Town seemed less nervous. Even the rabbits came out to nibble on the few green things bursting from the ground. Tilly Titter reported that nothing had been seen of the weasel, and it was generally believed that he had left the neighborhood. That was very good news for the Teenie Weenies. One morning the Cowboy, the Sailor, the Chinaman, Gogo, and the Dunce started off towards the big woods in search of the trailing arbutus. The little men moved very cautiously and quietly along the trail to the woods. They constantly sniffed the air for any scent of the weasel. Teenie Weenies can smell as keenly as mice and they usually sniff an animal long before they see it. They had just left 47 the lane and started into the woods when the Dunce held up a warning hand and whispered, "I smell weasel." A moment later the Teenie Weenies were horrified to see the weasel push his long neck through some tall grass near by and quickly vanish behind a big stone. "Get into that bottle!" shouted the Dunce, pointing to an empty bottle that lay near by the stone. Now Teenie Weenies can move with great speed when it is necessary. The Dunce dove first through the narrow bottle neck. Gogo followed the Dunce, and the Cowboy, the Sailor, and the Chinaman, who were farther away from the bottle, plunged in just as the weasel slid over the top of the rock. The weasel bared his teeth and glared at the Teenie Weenies through the glass. He sniffed at the opening of the bottle, but the neck was too small for the beast to crawl through. For a long time the weasel walked around the bottle sniffing and snarling. Finally he disappeared, but the Teenie Weenies were too wise to venture out. "Looks as though we will be heah fo' quite a spell," said Gogo. "Yes, we can count on spending the night here," said the Cowboy. "Weasels don't give up easily." "Allie same Generals be worried if we no comie home," put in the Chinaman. "Maybe Generals try and come after us, and weasel then get some Teenie Weenies." "You don't need to worry about that," answered the Cowboy. "The General is too wise to do that. He'll be out looking for us in the morning, but he'll bring Jack with him when he comes." For over two hours the Teenie Weenies saw no signs of the weasel. Then they saw his head appear around the side of the stone. Finally the sun went down and one by one the little men went to sleep, for they knew they were perfectly safe in the bottle. The General was terribly worried when the five Teenie Weenies 48 Just as the weasel slid over the top of the rock didn't come home, and early in the morning he sent for Jack. The dog and the Teenie Weenies set off straight for the big woods, for they knew the missing men had gone there. Finally Jack picked up the weasel's scent. By the dog's barks, which grew fainter and fainter, they knew he was chasing the beast out of the neighborhood. The five Teenie Weenies in the bottle heard Jack's barks. They all climbed out of the bottle, for all danger from the weasel was over, now that the dog was on his trail. Soon they met the General and the other Teenie Weenies who had come to look for them. As the arbutus grew near by, the little men gathered a number of the blossoms and carried them back to Teenie Weenie Town, so the Lady of Fashion could have her favorite perfume. Jack chased the weasel nearly all day. All the birds and animals for miles around Teenie Weenie Town report that the dangerous creature hasn't been seen since. 50 CHAPTER 8 A Lost Chicken OPRING time is a busy time for the Teenie Weenies. After the regular house cleaning, the Teenie Weenie garden has to be made. A couple of the respectable mice are hired to pull the Teenie Weenie plow in order to break up the soil in readiness for the seeds. The potato that the little folks have saved from the year before has to be cut into pieces with Teenie Weenie axes. Each piece must con- tain one of the eyes that show on the surface of the potato, so that it will sprout and grow into a vine when it is planted in the deep holes the little men dig. Then other tiny plants must be taken up from the earth in the glass fruit jar which the Teenie Weenies use for a greenhouse and be set out in the Teenie Weenie garden. When the weather is dry, many thimblefuls of water must be carried from the creek in order to make the plants grow. The Dunce complained a great deal over having to work in the garden, especially when the fishing was good. 51 "Shucks!" he grumbled one day when the General told him he must work in the garden when he had asked for permission to go fishing. "It seems to me we don't do anything around here but fuss with that garden." "I have noticed that you seem to enjoy eating the things we raise in the garden," said the General. "If you don't want to eat any more, why then you won't have to work in the garden." "I could live on fish," argued the Dunce. "Fishin' is much better. It's easier to catch fish than always to be hoeing vegetables and carrying water to them." "All right," smiled the General. "You go on fishing, but you'll have to supply your own food if you don't work in the garden. I hope you catch a fish, for I'd hate to see you go hungry." The Dunce brought out his hook and line, and in a short time he found a worm for bait. He went off down toward the creek, and the General warned the Cook not to give the foolish Teenie Weenie anything to eat. "If he catches a fish, you can cook some for him," the General told the Cook. "He'll get mighty tired of eating fish, but he must be taught a lesson, for everyone here has to do his share of work." It was almost dark before the Teenie Weenies sat down to their evening meal, and they had nearly finished and were eating their dessert when the Dunce came into the dining room. He looked longingly at the delicious stuffed raisin they were having. "Catch any fish?" asked the General. "N-n-no," answered the Dunce. "I had a couple of bites, though." "I shouldn't think that would be a very hearty supper," smiled the General. "No, it isn't," admitted the Dunce. "Well, maybe you would prefer working in the garden instead of fishing for your food," said the General. 52 "Yes, I believe I would," grinned the Dunce. "Well, sit down and have your supper," smiled the General, "and tomorrow you can help carry water to the garden." However, neither the Dunce nor any other of the Teenie Weenies had to carry water next day, for it rained during the night. In fact it rained so hard the roof of the shoe house sprang a leak. Just before luncheon the rain stopped and the weather cleared up so the Teenie Weenie men could make repairs. The Old Soldier examined the roof and decided that the entire covering needed to be replaced. There had been little damage to the ceiling inside the house. It had been stained by the water, but that could be overcome with a coat or two of paint. The little men brought out their tiny tools and started to work. They ripped off the old covering and carried over a number of old playing cards that they had found once and had stored in the toolhouse for future roofing material. The Old Soldier made careful measurements and the Cowboy cut the cards to fit the various places. While the men were busy with the work the Old Soldier, who was standing on the porch roof, happened to glance towards the path that leads from the town hall to the shoe house. "Well, look who's here!" he exclaimed. Down the walk came a young chicken. He was a blond and he had a worried expression on his baby face. In fact, the Teenie Weenies thought he might burst into tears at any moment. "Hello, young fellow," said the Policeman. "What can we do for you?" The chicken stopped, stared at the Teenie Weenie, and began cheeping, but the little people could not understand him. "He's just a baby," said the Lady of Fashion, who had come out onto the front porch. "He can't be over four or five days old," remarked the General. 53 3# *%g Well, look who's here!" he exclaimed "Call the Chinaman. Maybe he can make out what the chicken is trying to say." The Policeman went to the teapot where the Chinaman was busy with his washing. He gave the Chinaman the General's mes- sage, and the little laundryman agreed to come at once. The Chinaman can understand birds and animals better than any of the other Teenie Weenies, but he couldn't make out a single thing the chicken said. "Allie same chicken talk baby talk," said the Chinaman. "Me no understands any things." "Maybe he's hungry," said the Cook. He climbed down the ladder on which he had been standing, went into the kitchen, and came out with a hazelnut baking dish full of creamed hominy. He set it down in front of the chicken, who gobbled it up faster than the Dunce could have eaten a Teenie Weenie doughnut. "Get him something else," said the General. "He acts as though he were starved." The Cook brought out half a loaf of Teenie Weenie bread and four grains of cold boiled rice. When the chicken had eaten that, the Cook gave him several pieces of frog ham fat and a portion of leftover baked lima bean. The chicken could have probably eaten more, but the Cook had given him almost everything he had on hand and he would have to cook a kettle of corn before he could feed him more. The chicken wiped his beak on the ground and then went over and drank all the water in the thimble under the kitchen water spout. "Well," said the General when it began to grow dark, "I sup- pose that chicken is going to hang around here, so we had better find some place for him to stay tonight." Several of the men dragged an old rag into the old can the Teenie Weenies used for a woodshed and motioned the chicken to make itself at home. The chicken walked into the woodshed 55 and, settling down on the rag, made himself comfortable for the night. After supper the Cook put on eight grains of corn to boil in the metal top of a catsup bottle, which was his biggest kettle. The chicken was up next morning looking for something to eat before the Teenie Weenies were out of their beds. He waited at the kitchen door until the little folks appeared. The Cook gave him the eight grains of boiled corn, and the Teenie Weenies under- stood from his actions that he was still hungry. "Great grief!" exclaimed the Cook. "If I have to feed this chicken, I won't be able to do anything else." "Maybe I could catch him a fish," suggested the Dunce. "That chicken would starve to death if he had to depend on your fishing for a living," laughed the Sailor. The chicken picked a few bugs and ants around Teenie Weenie Town, but he continually hung around the kitchen door looking for something more. The Teenie Weenies had asked Tilly Titter the sparrow about the chicken. Tilly continually flies all around the neighborhood and she knows everything that goes on for miles about. Tilly promised to try and find out something about the chicken, and during the afternoon she flew into Teenie Weenie Town and told them what she had learned. "I 'ad it from a goldfinch that this chicken is probably from a 'ouse quite a ways down the lane," Tilly told the Teenie Weenies. The Teenie Weenies decided that was probably where the chicken had come from and that he had wandered off and lost his way. The Policeman and several of the Teenie Weenie men led the chicken to the house that Tilly had told them about. There they found a coop with a great many little chickens running around. The lost chicken seemed to be happy over finding his brothers and sisters. The Teenie Weenies were happy too, for feeding a hungry chicken is more work than the little people cared to undertake. 56 CHAPTER 9 O,^ • Jack Une of the Teenie Weenies' most helpful neighbors is also one of the most troublesome. Jack, the little people's dog friend, doesn't mean to be troublesome, but he is a puppy and puppies are some- times rather rough and destructive. The Teenie Weenies can't be angry with Jack when he makes trouble for them, for they know he doesn't mean to be a nuisance. Jack doesn't often come into Teenie Weenie Town, for the thorny rosebushes and dense brush are hard for the dog to get through. Occasionally he wriggles through the brush, and those visits almost always mean that some damage is done to the tiny houses under the rosebush. In spite of the trouble the dog caused the Teenie Weenies, he was much liked by the little folks and a very helpful neighbor. Jack was a most generous friend too. Sometimes he brought presents to the Teenie Weenies. These presents were generally something the little folks could not use, but they always thanked the dog, for they knew he wanted to be friendly. One day he brought a baseball in his mouth and dropped it in front of the Teenie Weenies. He seemed to think he had done them a great service, and the little folks thanked him for the gift, although they had no use whatever for a big base- ball. 57 One morning he brought a bone which caused the little folks a lot of extra work at a very busy time. Two of the Teenie Weenies were painting the new roof on the shoe house, and most of the others were busy in the Teenie Weenie garden. The China- man had an extra big Teenie Weenie washing to do and the Teenie Weenie women were still at their house cleaning. The Lady of Fashion had just finished sweeping off a rug on the front porch, when Jack came wiggling through the brush. He had a hard time getting through the undergrowth, for he carried a long bone in his mouth. By the time he had reached the shoe house, most of the little people had heard him and they came running to the spot. The dog dropped the big bone on the ground, sat down and grinned at the Teenie Weenies. "It looks as though Jack had brought us a present," said the General glancing at the big bone, which was partly covered with rather smelly meat. "My Goodness !" whispered the Lady of Fashion to the Doctor. "We don't want that dirtv old bone around here." "Certainly not," said the Doctor. "It would be most unhealthy to have that spoiled meat so close to the house." "Hush!" whispered the Cook who had stepped from the porch onto the toe of the shoe house. "He means well." "So do I mean well, too," answered the Doctor. "That bone is likely to cause an epidemic in the town. We can't have it here." Jack barked a few times and the General made a deep bow although he did not understand a thing the dog barked. The China- 58 The dog dropped the bone on the ground man came running up at that moment and he told the General what Jack had said. "Me no can understand velly muchie what Jack say," said the Chinaman, "but me thinks he want to give Teenie Weenies bone for plesent." The General turned to the Chinaman and said. "Tell Jack that the only meat we eat is frog ham and fish. Tell him that it would be too bad to waste such a good bone and that it would be much better for him to eat it. Tell him we are very grateful for his thought and kindness and that we would be most happy if he kept this nice bone for himself." "He velly muchie ashamed for himself," the Chinaman told the General. "He say he want for Teenie Weenie fliends to have this muchie nice bone. He say he no hungry now. He can no eat." "Well, tell him we will save the bone for him," the General said. "We will bury it and when Jack gets hungry he can. dig it up." "Ah, shucks!" growled the Dunce. "Say, it will take a lot of work to bury that big bone. Haven't we enough work to do without taking on that job?" "I know we are mighty busy," answered the General, "but we don't want to say anything that will make Jack feel bad." "That's right, Dunce," put in the Sailor. "Where would we be now if it hadn't been for Jack when the weasel chased us? Why, we'd still be cooped up in that old bottle." The Dunce groaned and the Chinaman carefully explained the General's message to the dog. Jack seemed satisfied and he went off and wiggled out of sight through the brush. "Now, boys," said the General when the dog had left, "get your shovels and we'll drag this bone off and bury it." The Cowboy brought a rope and looped it around one end of the bone. Then several of the little men pulled it to a big pile of stones that lay near Teenie Weenie Town. Some of the men brought 60 along Teenie Weenie picks and shovels and they began digging a hole in which the bone could be buried. "Why can't we cover the bone with some stones?" asked the Dunce. "That will be easier than digging a hole." "No, we must cover it with earth," said the Old Soldier. "We promised Jack we'd bury it and we must keep our promise. It must be covered up with earth so the air won't reach it, or it will spoil." The Dunce grumbled a great deal, but he did his share of the work and finally the Old Soldier decided the hole was big enough. It was eighteen Teenie Weenie feet long, seven Teenie Weenie feet wide, and eight Teenie Weenie feet deep. A Teenie Weenie foot is three-eighths of an inch in big people's measurements. "That's a nice hole," said the Old Soldier, "and it ought to keep the bone in good shape until Jack wants it." "If you ask me," said the Dunce wrinkling up his nose, "I think that bone is past keeping." The men pushed the bone into the hole and soon covered it with earth, and then the Old Soldier suggested it might be well to roll a few stones over the spot. "What do you want to do that for?" asked the Dunce. "Are you afraid the bone will rise up out of the hole?" "Well, some stray rat might try and dig it up," answered the Old Soldier. "You won't have to worry about that bone," said the Dunce. "It's as safe as though it were in a safety deposit vault. Nobody is going to want that dirty old bone." CHAPTER 10 A New Neighbor A NEW neighbor settled near Teenie Weenie Town. She was a chestnut-sided warbler. She was polite but shy, and she had very little to do with the Teenie Weenies. In spite of the fact that she wasn't very sociable, the little folks were glad to have her in the neighborhood. She ate a great many ants and the Teenie Weenies were most thankful for that. Ants are very troublesome to the Teenie Weenies, for the little insects can do a great deal of damage in a short time. Teenie Weenie doors and windows have to be kept closed, for the little folks never can tell when some of the pests will invade their tiny houses. Ants can easily carry off Teenie Weenie doughnuts and they could empty a thimble full of them in very short order. The Teenie Weenies always try to have a few toads live near the town, for they eat a great many ants. Sometimes, however, the toads wander away and then the little people are overrun with the insects. For several weeks the warbler ate a great number of ants. Then one day the Cowboy reported that she was building a nest in a tree near the Teenie Weenie Village. When the nest had been built, the Teenie Weenies saw very little of the bird, but they knew that she was laying her eggs and sometime later on there would be several new neighbors hatched out. 62 The Teenie Weenies fed the bird The Teenie Weenies were busy in their T eenie Weenie garden, and as the days passed by they almost forgot about the warbler. One day the Policeman reported that something was wrong in the nest. "I don't believe the mother is in the nest," the Policeman said. "I can't see her, and you can usually see a warbler's tail sticking over the side of the nest. I can hear a young bird crying and I believe something has happened to the mother." "Oh, the mother is probably off getting food for her young birds," put in the Old Soldier, "and young birds are always crying for food." The next day the Policeman said it sounded as if just one bird were still crying, and there was no sign of the mother. The Teenie Weenies decided to investigate, but a short time later the Baltimore oriole, who had a nest in the neighborhood, told the Chinaman that the chestnut-sided warbler was missing. Not long after Tilly Titter the sparrow informed the Teenie Weenies that there was a great mystery about the missing bird. "She's been gone for three days now," Tilly told the Teenie Weenies. "Three of her young ones are gone too. I 'ad it from a flicker and so I flew up into the tree where the nest is and, sure enough, the flicker is right. There's just one bird in the nest." "What's happened to them?" asked the General. "No one seems to know," answered Tilly. "They've just van- ished. The flicker thinks maybe a squirrel's been at the nest, but that flicker is always blamin' squirrels for everything and so his word don't amount to much." "Maybe a weasel or an old owl has raided the nest," suggested the Cowboy. "Might be," Tilly said, "or a 'awk." "The young bird will starve if it doesn't get something to eat before long," put in the Lady of Fashion. "Can't we do something?" "I'd feed the bird if I didn't 'ave a family of young 'uns to feed 64 myself," Tilly said. "It's about all I can do to keep 'em full." "Maybe you would be willing to fly one of the boys up to the nest," the General asked Tilly. "The warbler's nest is in a tree that's rather hard to climb. If you would take one of us up on your back, we could fix a line in the tree. That would help us to get up and down easily." "Certainly," Tilly said. "Just 'op on and I'll get you up there in a jiffy." "Let me go," shouted the Dunce who saw a chance for a ride. "No," smiled the General. "The Cowboy had better go. He is good at tying ropes." The Cowboy brought out a long coil of twine. He climbed onto Tilly's back, and the bird flew away towards the tree in which the warbler's nest had been built. Most of the Teenie Weenies followed on the ground, for the nest was only a short distance from Teenie Weenie Town. When they arrived at the tree, the Cowboy had already fixed the line to a limb near the nest. Presently he slid down to the ground, where the Teenie Weenies anxiously awaited news. "There's just one young bird in the nest," the Cowboy told them. "The nest hasn't been hurt, but the bird is in need of food." "Just give it a little soft worm to start with," cautioned the Doctor. "The bird should be fed only a little, several times a day, until it is strong enough to eat more. It would be best if you gave it chopped worm at first, but it ought to be fed at once." Several of the men hurried back to the Teenie Weenie tool house. They brought out picks and &'&X^jyj <M 65 shovels and set to work digging for a worm. The weather had been dry since the night the roof had sprung a leak, and the worms had gone down deep into the earth. The little men had to do a lot of digging before they finally captured a worm, but it was a large fat one. They carried it to the Cook, who minced it in a hickory-nut shell chopping bowl with a Teenie Weenie hash knife. He put some of the meat into an acorn-shell basket and carried it over to the tree. The Turk and several of the other men had climbed up the tree with the aid of the line that the Cowboy had fixed to a limb near the nest. The Cook tied the line to the handle of the basket, and the Turk pulled the basket up to the nest and handed it to the Doctor. When the Doctor pulled a handful of meat from the basket, the bird lunged toward the food with its mouth wide open. The Doctor was so startled by the bird's action that he nearly fell off the rim of the nest on which he stood. The open mouth was nearly wide enough to swallow a Teenie Weenie. Finally he put the handful of meat into the bird's mouth. The food disappeared instantly down the bird's throat and its mouth opened wide again for more. The Doctor gave it another handful and the bird nearly climbed out of the nest trying to get some more. "No. You've had enough for now," said the Doctor. He moved out on a limb away from the nest in order to keep out of reach of the bird. The young warbler tried to follow and would have probably fallen to the ground far underneath, for it was too young to fly, but some of the Teenie Weenie men rushed it back into the nest. "I never saw such a greedy bird," said the Dunce. "Well, you would be greedy, too, if you hadn't had anything to eat for several days," said the Turk. "Say," laughed the Cowboy. "The Dunce is every bit as greedy as this bird and he never missed a meal in his life." After a short time the Doctor gave the bird two more handfuls of food and then handed the basket to the Turk. "Give the bird a 66 few handfuls about every fifteen minutes," he told the Turk and then he slid down the string to the ground. "Let me feed the bird," said the Dunce when it was time to give it more food. "Do you want to lose your arm?" asked the Turk, winking at the Cowboy. "Say!" growled the Dunce. "There's no chance of losing my arm. A bird hasn't any teeth. I want to feed that bird." "All right," answered the Turk. "Try your luck, but don't blame me if you are swallowed. You would be about as tasty to a bird as a grubworm." The Dunce took a handful of meat out of the basket and walked gingerly towards the nest. When the bird opened its mouth and came towards him, he turned white around the mouth with fright. "Here," he said, handing the meat to the Turk, "you feed it." "What's the matter?" asked the Turk, "afraid you'll get swallowed?" "N-n-no," answered the Dunce. "You feed it." All day long the Teenie Weenies fed the bird every fifteen minutes and they enjoyed doing it. Each of the little men took his turn feeding it, and soon the scary Dunce was taking his, too. In a short time the Doctor told the Teenie Weenies that they could begin feeding the bird a whole live fishworm. The little folks thought that great fun, but it soon grew tiresome, for it was quite a task to dig the worms out of the ground. The bird ate more and more as it grew, and several Teenie Weenies were kept busy most of the day digging worms and pulling them up by a line to the nest. "Jinks!" exclaimed the Dunce one day, when the General told him it was his turn to dig worms. "I have blisters on my hands from digging for worms. Are we going to have to feed the bird for the rest of its life?" "We won't have to feed it much longer," the General said. 67 "It will be flying soon and then it can look after itself." "That's right, General," said the Cowboy. "I noticed the bird was flapping its wings yesterday. That's a sure sign that it's getting ready to fly." The next morning, when the little men climbed up to the nest to feed the bird, it was gone. They found it later sitting in a low bush near by, and it flew down to the ground when they drew near. The Teenie Weenies gave it only one worm that day, for the bird was now able to get its own food. It stayed near Teenie Weenie Town for a long time and it ate so many ants that the little folks were hardly bothered by the insects. The Teenie Weenies were glad that they were able to save the bird's life, for if they hadn't fed it the poor thing would have starved. "It's a mighty lucky thing for us that we had only one bird to feed," said the Old Soldier one evening while the Teenie Weenies were sitting on the shoe-house front porch. "If there had been four young birds in that nest instead of one, we certainly would have had a lot of work to do." "We'd have had to work in eight-hour shifts," laughed the Cowboy. "Yes, and we would have needed a conveyer belt from the kitchen to the birds' nest to keep them fed," put in the Sailor. "And a Teenie Weenie bulldozer to dig for worms," added the Dunce.